Hundreds have say on future of fire service

Cllr Clive Foster-Reed using his phone throughout a Gosport Borough Council planning meeting. Picture: David George

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NEARLY 700 people took part in a questionnaire about the future of fire services in Hampshire.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue has also spoken to 350 members of staff over the course of 50 internal sessions, while another 200 completed a staff survey.

This project, which it is calling its Risk Review, is looking at how the fire service will cope with smaller amounts of funding from the government.

Deputy chief officer Dave Curry said: ‘The service faces challenges – both financial and also in the types of service we provide.

‘Over the last 10 years the number of fires we attend has reduced by 50 per cent, therefore it is absolutely right and timely that we look at the types of service we provide.’

The fire service needs to save £12m in the next four years. It also needs to save a further £3m by 2020.

Steve Foye, area manager, said: ‘We are really pleased with the level of feedback we had from our engagement over the future of our service.

‘The number of responses shows how highly our communities value their fire service and how important it is we take into account the views of the people we serve.

‘We will now spend time reviewing all the responses and survey results to help us form the proposals that will shape the future of Hampshire’s fire service.’

The proposals should go to the Fire Authority in the summer and public consultation will start in September.